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Route Diverse Art Journeys Invite to Explore Life on the Peripheries

Starting tomorrow, June 29, the Route Diverse art tours will begin, exploring life on the peripheries and presenting Southern Estonia as a culturally rich and diverse region.

Barbara Lehtna’s spatial installation explores how to live in a city that statistics suggest people do not want to live in. Photo: Danel Rinaldo
28. Jun

Route Diverse (Maailma Maaliin) is an unique art experience that is part of the European Capital of Tartu 2024 main programme. It takes the audience on a special bus tour to discover the peripheral areas of Southern Estonia. From June to September, a total of 30 art journeys will be conducted, some of which will be in English. During the event, three distinct exhibition venues will be visited, with the art tour bus itself providing a unique artistic experience.

Helena Krinal, the artistic director of Route Diverse, describes the art journey as a colorful collaboration between artists and local people. “For about four years, we have been shaping this experience together with people from various fields, countries of origin, and diverse cultural backgrounds from Southern Estonia. Now, we have created an immersive art experience that invites exploration of the peripheral nature of Southern Estonia and the fringes of human existence – be it our relationship with non-human creatures, the supernatural, or our own local surroundings,” Krinal explained.

“Laima Jaunzema, a renowned performance artist from Latvia, has designed both the interior of the bus and the time spent on it, transforming the bus into an intriguing character. During the Route Diverse art journey, the bus ride is not merely a means of transportation but an integral part of the art programme,” described Krinal.

The three-and-a-half-hour journey begins at Valga railway station and continues to Ähijärve, where Jane Remm’s nature installation in Karula National Park invites visitors to explore what non-human creatures – birds, insects, and fish – consider home. Visitors can crawl into human-sized nests and burrows to experience the world from a different perspective.

From Ähijärve, the culture bus heads to Hargla Community Culture House (Hargla Maakultuurimaja), where a sound installation by American artist Patrick Tubin McGinley, will be unveiled exclusively for this tour. Inspired by encounters with the supernatural and the unexplained by people of diverse cultural backgrounds living in Southern Estonia, this audio experience brings together the suris of Koikküla, ancestors hidden in Ghanaian ants, a Roma grandmother, and many others.

The art journey finally circles back to Valga railway station, where Barbara Lehtna’s spatial installation explores how to live in a city that statistics suggest people do not want to live in. Lehtna’s work is influenced by her nearly 20-year personal experience with Valga and is based on interviews she conducted by approaching strangers in playgrounds, cafés, the railway station, and other places.

Tickets and timetable (tours in English only).

Find all tours here.